581 Main St. in Woodbridge — Courtesy: Colliers International
By Joshua Burd
A growing insurance company has leased more than half of a Mack-Cali Realty Corp. building in Woodbridge, bringing the 200,000-square-foot property to full occupancy.
Mack-Cali on Monday announced the 130,000-square-foot, 12-year lease at 581 Main St. with Plymouth Rock Assurance. The deal with the personal and commercial automotive insurance provider follows the completion of major upgrades at the building, from renovated common spaces to new electric vehicle charging stations.
Mack-Cali Senior Vice President of Leasing Toni L. Casiano represented the real estate investment trust in-house, adding that Cushman & Wakefield served as the exclusive leasing agent for 581 Main. Sam Horowitz and Chris Hovanec of Colliers International represented Plymouth Rock, which is relocating from spaces in Berkeley Heights and another Mack-Cali property in Red Bank.
“Plymouth Rock’s office lease in Woodbridge positions the company for continued growth in the Metropark region and provides its employees with immediate transit access,” said Michael J. DeMarco, Mack-Cali’s CEO. “The transaction is reflective of the enhanced interest we’re seeing from the marketplace following our recent capital investment in the property’s common spaces and amenities.
“The building has been entirely reimagined, with a new dramatic glass entryway and a number of forward-thinking flexible spaces with integrated technology.”
Mack-Cali upgraded the building as part of a series of high-profile investments in its suburban properties in Metropark, Parsippany, Red Bank and Short Hills. At 581 Main, the REIT upgraded the entryway and lobby, fitness center, full-service café, conference room and exterior landscaping, while also introducing a subsidy for tenants who commute using Uber.
In a separate news release Monday, Colliers International said Plymouth Rock’s recent success had pushed the company to seek a new headquarters, which would have to accommodate more than 700 people and leave additional room for expansion.
“We also had to consider business continuity, increased collaboration, modernization of the facilities and other issues,” Horowitz said. “To mount an efficient search, we engaged in comprehensive dialog with the company, utilizing meetings, survey questionnaires, evaluations, and financial and other projections. The activities were designed to align Plymouth Rock’s long-term goals with the property’s ability to help achieve them.”
Brokers also cited the recent upgrades as a key factor in the decision. Hovanec added that the team evaluated Plymouth Rock’s current employee base and its future recruitment needs.
“The Metropark area offered ease of access to major highways and to Amtrak and other rail stations, as well as a variety of shopping, food and living choices,” Hovanec said. “Additionally, the exposure to both the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway provided an excellent branding opportunity for Plymouth Rock.”
The firm’s new home, an eight-story Class A building, is served by the Metropark and Woodbridge rail stations as well as NJ Transit bus service, Mack-Cali said.
“Plymouth Rock is committed to providing the best possible work environment for our employees,” said Gerry Wilson, president of the Plymouth Rock Management Co. of New Jersey. “The new facility will help us to realize new levels of collaboration and productivity, enabling our teams to better meet the needs of our customers.”